Chicago Dog Behaviorist

Whatever your issue is, we have likely seen it before and know solutions that will work.

  • Solutions that WORK
  • Many of our clients have tried other trainers, other behaviorists, and other experts without satisfactory results
  • Results you can begin to see in just ONE or TWO SESSIONS
  • Behavior advice and evaluations
  • Multiple choices: Your plan will depend on your abilities and your situation

The truth is most dogs don’t want to lead the pack or be in charge, most dogs are not trying to dominate you, and they usually don’t want to fight.  They just don’t know any alternate behaviors yet, or they have been inadvertently reinforced for unwanted behaviors.  Remember, in general, dogs do behaviors because they work.

If you are experiencing any behavior or aggression issues, you need a trainer who is a behavior specialist or behaviorist. We are here to coach to you see positive changes in your dog.

A few common issues our behaviorists consult for:

Separation Anxiety: Many pet owners think their dog has separation anxiety because it barks in the crate or whines. There are more signs that we look for, and we must take the whole picture into account. Things that foster the unwanted behavior: allowing your dog to follow you around all the time, constantly acknowledging and touching your dog, co-sleeping or cuddling together, excited and/or emotional greetings, allowing it to cling or push for attention without earning it, and allowing it to get things it wants on its own terms. Can the owner handle the dog in the most basic obedience situations– can they have their dog lie down across the room from them, simply stay put and be quiet, or do they struggle with that? Do they easily give up and give in? What has the dog learned in the past? A new person should begin to provide the food, access to outside, toys, and attention for the dog. Notice the first signs of your dog or puppy becoming over-attached… time to drop it off at a friends house for the weekend, have someone else care for it or walk it. You can iron-out much of these over-dependence issues in obedience class as well, as obedience builds a dogs confidence in their job, is a healthier bond, and practice more control-based exercises, like down-stays, in a calm manner. Dogs also need to be taught crate manners, so they do not bark in the kennel. If a pet owner describes their dog barking in the crate when they leave, and they think he has “separation anxiety,” I ask them- how does he behave when you crate him when you *are* home?

Dog aggression: Aggression towards other dogs can take many forms. Some dogs have had negative experiences in the past in regards to other dogs. One of the first things we want to do is obedience train the dog so he learns to be neutral to other dogs, and to pay attention to his handler. Through repetition and exposure, we help dogs adjust into a calmer and more balanced state of mind around other canines.

Fear, obsessive behaviors, skittishness:  We utilize systematic desensitization to help dogs get over their fears and become more confident. We have experience with many fearful and phobic dogs, including feral dogs who were not socialized in the past. Some dogs are prone to obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and we can help teach you how to interrupt and deter these behaviors, while gaining more useful skills.